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PRE-BERLIN

After inhaling fabric dust for two months, I suddenly realised that I had exactly four days for my Autumn-Winter 2012-13 collection showcase. That it was to be shown at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Berlin just added to the nerves. A small part of the entire exercise escaped my mind: PACKING. Packing everything into suitcases, cartons, boxes, envelopes, zip-lock bags, garment covers. All this coupled with the fact that I was expecting my collection shoes any moment and my music tracks were yet to be assembled into a single piece.

Model castings sheet; Vogue MB invite

BERLIN

Day 1

Sees no lost baggage on arrival. But it sees snow, rain, soggy cigarettes (we need to invent tiny umbrellas that get affixed onto cigarette filters to keep them dry), a non-smoking hotel room and casting models. The MBFWB venue was everything you would imagine it to be, and to have it right opposite the Brandenburg Gate just made it surreal. Post-site check I rushed back to the hotel. Vogue and Mercedes-Benz were co-hosting the opening party at fashion week. Run to make the party on time, drink the customary six glasses of wine and leave the party early to hit Eisenacher and its nightlife score! Trudge begrudgingly back to bed at 6am.

Day 2

Sees me waking up at 9am and not remembering much from the previous night. I could put that down to jet lag, right? A quick breakfast followed by a meeting with the PR team that results in shock because 550+ have RSVP’d for the show. Anjana Sharma (IMGR Head of Fashion, India), Aneeth Arora (Indian designer, also showing her line at MBFWB) and I have been invited by the Indian ambassador to lunch. It’s a lovely Thai restaurant and I drop my fork twice during the meal (still blaming the jet lag) and we make a quick getaway to the fashion week venue to catch a show.

Day 3

FITTINGS. 9am till 9.30pm. Twelve-and-a-half hours people! On my two feet! Anjana is a big help to keep my mood on an even keel. Get back to the room and apply black nail paint to the yellow rubber duck the hotel’s kept perched on my bathtub.

A ramp moment from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Berlin

Day 4

Brings and keeps the promise of MUJI, The Military Store, VOO, Soto and Gallery Gereke. Shopping for oneself brings out the best in people. Afterwards Aneeth, the twins Ale and Julio and I head to Weekend to hear some IDM (Intelligent Dance Music, dummies) and some not so IDM. It snows on our way back to the hotel. We ought to be nervous since tomorrow is D-Day but as we wish a goodnight to one another we’re calm.

Day 5

Brings the storm after last night’s calm (corny, right?). Massive meltdowns, panic attacks and the like. All of this is me. This happens every time I have a collection showcase. I thought the excitement of showing in Berlin would negate all this but things were never meant to be easy with me. My sister’s flown in from London for some much-needed filial support. Anjana is a superwoman backstage. Show starts. Ends. Interviews with WWD, Reuters, L&S. We head out to the famous infamous squat parties in East Berlin to celebrate. In the midst of all the haze and lasers, it hits me that I’ve shown my line in the city I’ve always wanted to show in. I give Aneeth and Anjana bear hugs and lest emotions creep in, I order more alcohol.

Day 6

Brings in clarity. The fact that we were the first designers to show at MBFWB, well-received collections, WWD finding the collection cerebral and not what they expected it to be (patronising be damned). My friend Jennifer recommends a visit to the flea market at Mauerpark. A brill visit it turns out to be. Followed by some great Argentine food and I am a happy bunny.

Day 7

We realise that we have exactly eight hours to shop after which we need to catch our flights back home. We help the EU economy with our purchases, help the airline with our payments for excess baggage and we’re set for home.

POST-BERLIN

Back in Delhi. Thank you IMG for Berlin, ASOS.com for the quirky accessories, Freecultr for their soft as baby skin shoes (sheepskin has never seemed sweeter!) and DJ Nucleya for his brill music mix (he made the entire set sound more eerie and detached than I could’ve ever imagined). To all the well wishers over the phone and Internet thank you very much, and shots on me! XOXO